With the chants of ‘Vitthal Vitthal’, like every year, thousands of Warkaris will trace the Wari route from Alandi to Pandharpur once the Wari starts on June 16. But this year, the Solapur health department has introduced two-wheeler ambulances for Warkaris who would be battling the harsh weather and living conditions. Also, for the first time, a special three-bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be set up inside the Vitthal temple premises at Pandharpur.
Travelling with them, will be 65 ambulances and 35 two-wheeler ambulances along with a team of government doctors. More than one lakh devotees are present in temple’s premises every year. In order to take care of emergencies, a special ICU unit will be set up by the health department.
Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, Deputy Director of health, Pune region, said, “We do not want to lose on treatment in those golden hours. The initial period just after a stroke or any other emergency is very crucial. That will get treated in the ICU which we have set up within the premises. Also, in the crowded areas and in the narrow lanes big ambulances can’t enter. It is for this purpose that we are introducing two-wheeler ambulances in Solapur. Last year, we had implemented it on a pilot basis in Solapur. This year, we are going to introduce 35 two-wheeler ambulances. Once it succeeds there, we will launch it for the entire route in the coming years.”
Health department has also done the water testing, purification of all the water sources along the route and hygiene check up of private restaurants which fall on the route. A special call centre for emergency health services is also set up in Pandharpur. Private hospitals in Pandharpur will be offering free service to the devotees.
Sheetalkumar Jadhav, District Health Officer, Solapur, said, “Apart from providing basic health services, these two-wheeler ambulances will also keep a check on bogus doctors, water purification of water tankers and transporting sick people to special ambulance or nearby government hospital.”